Effects of age on passive range of motion of selected peripheral joints in healthy adult females
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The purposes of this study were to investigate whether age influences passive range of motion (PROM) in women and to compare obtained values with other available data. Ninety healthy Caucasian women from 18 to 59 years of age had the PROM of their ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, and wrist measured by using a standard goniometer. Data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics (mean/SD) and linear regression (to analyze the effect of age on ROM). Age did not significantly influence PROM for the majority of movements tested. For 11 of the tested movements (knee flexion, hip flexion, hip external rotation, glenohumeral and shoulder complex flexion, glenohumeral and shoulder complex external rotation, shoulder complex abduction, shoulder complex extension, and elbow extension), increasing age was associated with a statistically significant decrease in PROM, whereas for ankle dorsiflexion, ankle plantarflexion, ankle inversion, and hip abduction, increasing age was associated with an increase in PROM. The change in PROM associated with age was typically small and ranged from -0.420 to 0.207 degrees per year. The difference in mean PROM between this study and published normative values ranged from -16.6 to +25.9 degrees. For women aged 18 to 59, PROM of the extremities is relatively constant, suggesting that a single table of reference values for adult females is an appropriate approximation for clinical practice except for glenohumeral and shoulder complex external rotation, which were found to clinically significantly decrease with age.
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